GAME REPORT: WOLNY'S WHACK
VAPORIZES VALPO 6-4
-Walk off 7th inning homer lifts Cards to win.
-Today's schedule for softball
-Preakness poses possibilities for closers
|Sandy Pearsall is all grins after Alicja|
Wolny's game-winning blast
(Photo by Sir Eats-A-Lot)
In the losers bracket in the NCAA Regional.
Down to their final out of the game, the Louisville Softball Cardinals pull out a 6-4 win over the Crusaders with a three-run, game ending home run to right by junior Louisville first baseman Alicja Wolny.
The blast left a capacity crowd at Ulmer Stadium exhilarated after some nervous moments in the nightcap. Valparaiso simply wouldn't go away and took a 4-3 lead over the Cards in the top of the fifth.
|The Valparaiso Crusader gets the fans fired up|
|Cards Care and Parrish House hero Erv makes sure I|
get in the game safely. Say "Hi!" to Erv if you see him
at the game today or tomorrow.
Louisville threatened again in the bottom of the third. They filled the bases with singles from Wolny, Fowler and Trimble reaching on a error with two outs. Maggie Ruckenbrod's shot down the third base line was fielded by Joylin Ichiyama-Drewry, though...to end the Cardinal threat.
|Cardinal Volleyball star Gwen Rucker takes in the action|
Louisville got a double from Esteban in the bottom of the fourth but couldn't get her home. After the early success against Lagesse, the Cards couldn't get the ball into the air against her and were clinging on to the 3-1 lead....not putting the Crusaders away.
Valpo had no intentions of going away quietly and began the fifth with a walk and a single. Connell retired the next two batters but two straight walks brought a Crusader runner to the plate and it was 3-2. Pearsall went to the bullpen again and brought closer Chelsea Leonard in to pitch. Unfortunately, Rutkowski greeted her with her second hit of the game, a single that scored two runs and put Valpo ahead 4-3.
|Cards lining up for pre-game introductions|
|Valparaiso celebrates taking the lead|
(Photo by Lindsey Howard)
That set the stage for Wolny, who parked a Lagesse change-up deep to right field and over the fence into the screaming outfield crowd to give the Cards the game 6-4.
CARDS WIN, CARDS WIN !!
Louisville had 11 hits in the game -- three from Wolny and Esteban. Taner Fowler contributed two singles and Trimble, Ruckenbrod and Arion were 1-3 from the plate.
|Valparaiso gets Kentucky Saturday|
(Photo by Stasia's husband)
Louisville played tonight before a crowd of 1645. Good job, Cardinal fans..of getting out and getting crazy!
The Cards advance to play Michigan Saturday at 3 p.m. The game will be shown on ESPN.
Other great reads on the win:
Creighton catches the blast
Howie Lindsey left the press box minutes before the Wolny blast and was down on the field for the momentous occasion. Here's his "take" on the game:
Wolny "knew it all along".
Michigan created their own excitement in the first game, getting a two-out double from designated-hitter Sara Driesenga in the bottom of the seventh to defeat UK 3-2. The teams went through 3 1/2 scoreless innings before the Wolverines took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth on two singles off Kentucky pitcher Chandra Bell.
|Press box view from Friday's games|
Memorable quotes department:
(Kentucky head coach Rachel Lawson, after the loss)
"First, I want to thank Louisville for hosting this event. I normally don't like to thank Louisville for anything but they are doing such a good job, which is pretty cool."
All righty then. Uh, Rachel...they earned the right to host it. They were 53-3 this year and...what? They beat you twice this year? Try to do better than 4th in the East Division of the SEC next year. Maybe you'll get a shot at hosting someday..SMH.
WE'LL have full reports on today's action in Sunday's CARDINAL COUPLE...plus some possible commentary from the Cardinal Couple staff on the games later on today.
The KHSAA State Track meet is also going on down at the UofL Campus...right next to the Ulmer Stadium at Cardinal Park...so traffic congestion and big crowds are the scenario for today.
|Go Cards GO! (Photo by Howlin' Wardsey)|
GAME 3 @ 3 p.m. -- Louisville vs. Michigan
GAME 4 @ 5:30 p.m. -- Kentucky vs. Valparaiso
GAME 5 @ 8 p.m. -- loser of Game 3 plays winner of Game 4.
Speed didn't seem to be holding up well at Pimilico yesterday in races on the dirt...so it could be a good day for closing horses on today's card...especially in the Preakness. The tight turns and short stretch at the Maryland track sometimes tend to show favoritism to horses that can get out and go early...but several distances races yesterday saw off-the-pace closers coming flying down the 330 yd. stretch and overtake early pace-setters.
Conditions could change today...but in the Preakness...if the closers do well in earlier races -- watch out for I'll Have Another, Creative Cause and Went the Day Well.
Not much is being said about contestant Teeth of the Dog in the Preakness. He came flying late in his last race..the Wood Memorial...to finish third behind Derby Runners Gemologist and Alpha.
Neither of those two are in the Preakness. Neither ran that great in the Kentucky Derby, either...so, let the toteboard be your guide on "Teeth".
Post time is 6:20.